War of the Roses epic to air in 2013

The White Queen cast and Phillipa Gregory The White Queen cast with author Philippa Gregory (in orange jacket)

BBC One will show a 10-hour adaptation of Philippa Gregory's historical novel series The Cousin's War next year.

Set during the War of the Roses in 1464, The White Queen will tell the story of three women who proved influential during the battle for the English crown between the royal houses of York and Lancaster.

Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson will play lead character Elizabeth Woodville, who secretly marries King Edward IV, with Amanda Hale as her Lancastrian opponent Margaret Beaufort.

Newcomer Faye Marsay has been cast as Anne Neville - the daughter of "kingmaker" Lord Warwick - who marries the King's younger brother. Other cast members include Oscar nominee Janet McTeer, Max Irons and Robert Pugh.

Amanda Hale, Rebecca Ferguson  and Faye Marsay Amanda Hale, Rebecca Ferguson and Faye Marsay will play the three main roles

Drama controller Ben Stephenson said The White Queen will be "one of the most ambitious series the BBC has made".

BBC One has increased its drama slate this year with 20 new titles and 15 returning series, many of which have been trailed in its Original British Drama marketing campaign.

The White Queen will be filmed in the Belgian city of Bruges and is made by Company Pictures (producers of Einstein and Eddington and the new Anna Karenina film).

Adapted by Emma Frost (Shameless), the 10 hour-long episodes will be produced by Gina Cronk (New Tricks) and directed by James Kent (Inside Men).

Executive producers are Polly Hill (BBC); John Griffin, George Faber, Charles Pattinson for Company Pictures; Eurydice Gysel for Czar Television; and Colin Callender.

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